JJ Virgin’s Sugar Impact Diet is an ideal “catch all” diet and health book. Most of the current knowledge we have about dieting and health is in here in brief form – leaky gut, hormones, low fat/low carb debunking, etc. The tone is friendly, the plan very easy to follow, and the recipes aren’t too exotic or take heavy preparation. The best aspect of the book is that it doesn’t feel like another narrow focus fad. Despite the implication of the name “sugar impact” seeming to be about just removing sugar, the information provided within is very comprehensive.
Contents: The book is broken down into three parts: Sugar Impact: The hidden cause of weight gain; Seven foods to swap; 2 weeks to fast and lasting fat loss. Chapters are: Introduction; break free from the sugar trap; track your impact; The sugar impact plate; Be gone grains, roots, and fruit; Ditch the low-fat and no-fat diary and diet foods; So long, sweet drinks and dressings; See ya, sweeteners and added sugar; Cycle 1: taper; Cycle 2: transition; Cycle 3: transformed; Low sugar impact recipes; The final frontiers; eating out and working out; Conclusion, sweet freedom; References, Index.
Most of the book is about information you can use to understand the choices being made when eating. The angle of the book is about sugars in places you’d never expect them: ketchup, low fast salad dressings, organic fruit juices, etc. Virgin educates readers about the latest debunking of a lot of food myths (low fat isn’t a good diet, why artificial sweeteners can be worse than sugary drinks, the need for protein, sugar bombing the system through certain types of sugars, etc.) while at the same time cleanly explaining why weight loss efforts may be failing many.
Although the cover and blurb may feel like it is for those who need to lose the little weight left that is stubbornly refusing to go, in actuality there is a lot here for everyone, from vegetarians to the obese. She also devotes sections to those with special needs – gluten free, etc.
The recipes are few – enough for a 2-3 week diet. But there are resources for everything she lists in the recipes and none are too crazy or odd to make. Soups, better salad dressings, and especially how to replace super processed foods (from sugary vinaigrette dressings to mayonnaise). A lot of focus is on protein replacing sugar, including protein shakes in the morning.
This is one of the better diet books out there. She condenses a lot of the latest findings in diet and health research without the need to endlessly discuss this research or that. The tone is always encouraging, upbeat, and friendly. The book can be read through in under two hours and is an easy read.
Reviewed from an ARC.